It is generally cited that “low risk” women can have homebirths. What does that actually mean?
Most simply: a healthy, singleton, vertex, term (37-42 week) baby and a woman with normal range blood pressure, blood sugar, vitality, and organ function regardless of her age, how many babies she birthed, if she’s had a previous cesarean birth, if she’s due in a few weeks, or if family funds are limited.
Does it matter that our apartment is small? We rent? Our neighbors are nosy? Birth is noisy and messy, unpredictable and often in the night?
Truth, It really doesn’t.
Your home is your home. Birth is a relatively contained event, a major life moment that is mostly very still. Midwives are on call 24/7 for Labors and Birth, and lovingly tend to your space. Consider the size of most hospital rooms and the impact of the sounds of really good sex. As for the cleanup, that’s my job, not yours.
Who births at home?
Homebirthers defy typecasts. The reasons for choosing to birth at home are exquisitely personal and varied. (Read Choosing Homebirth).
My clients are: writers, artists, doctors, nurses, social workers, paramedics, attorneys, designers, therapists, engineers, students, executives, flight attendants, teachers, yogis, musicians, restaurant servers, dancers, accountants, venture capitalists, genetic counselors, trainers, acupuncturists, chiropractors, midwives, doulas, real estate agents, vocalists, nannies, hair stylists, massage therapists. All kinds of humans choose homebirth.
Can I labor/birth in the water, and how do I get one of those tubs?
Water is powerful medicine for many women in labor and for Birth. You rent the tubs locally for the month around your due date.
What is in the midwife’s bag?
A handheld Doppler to listen to baby’s heartbeat, stethoscopes, bp cuff, anti-hemorrhagic medications, suturing equipment, oxygen, bag+mask, iv equipment, herbs, homeopathics, oils, instruments, gloves, heat, a headlamp and some other witchy incidentals.
Is homebirth safe?
Exploring your own experience of and relationship to safety and to risk is an essential part of evaluating place of birth options.
Birth, like life, is not risk free. Homebirth is not risk free. Hospital birth is not risk free. The essence of the choice points us to determine which set of risks we prefer, and who and what we trust most.
There are many layers to dig into:
What if some kind of intervention is indicated?
Midwives are trained to respond to all variations of labor and birth. Generally, we are able to restore wellness with our hands and our tools at home. Occasionally, birth requires a level of intervention we can’t offer at home and hospital transfer is recommended. It is our job to identify and facilitate this transfer and accompany families. The local SF hospitals receive us kindly as part of their commitment to the health of women and babies in our community.
Does insurance pay for homebirth?
Midwifery care and homebirth are billable to PPO insurance plans at the out-of-network provider rate.
Who takes the birth photos?
Many of these photos are taken by the midwives or the family. The moments are so exquisite, and we capture them with quick snaps on iphones or cameras. Some of the photography is professional, artists include: Britt Fohrman, Santa Cruz Birth Photography, Anthony Armstrong, Emma Williams, and Rachelle Derouin. Please feel free to email for photography credits and referrals.